Cousin’s visit provides boost for mind

Last Sunday was a special day on this corner when Mark Nixon called to say he would be in town shortly and would buy me a cup of coffee.

As many of you know, Mark is cousin Tink Nixon’s son and is thus a special person in my life.

Although we rarely see each other, we call fairly often. Because we seem to be on the same wave length, the one who calls first doesn’t really surprise the other who was just getting ready to pick up the phone. He also tends to know when his aging cousin needs to hear a friendly voice. His mother and I had that same close relationship and just automatically knew when the other person needed to do some talking.

Mark also has the same direct approach and forges ahead with questions others might hesitate to ask. He looks deep into the other person’s eyes as he talks, thus letting the listener know he cares. That direct gaze can be filled with laughter just as easily as with serious thoughts.

Since both of us enjoy laughter, we spend much of our time engaged in telling funny stories — something else his mother and I always did. Fortunately, we can see the humor in most situations and can just relax in each other’s company.

In the event we should run out of current subjects to discuss, we can always turn to our love of teaching and the great fun we had in the classroom. Of course, his coaching experiences can cause this classroom teacher to make a comment or two, thus giving us even more chances for laughter, but he is one coach whom I respect.

I have seen him on occasion with some of his teams and heard comments from some of those young men. Obviously, he earned their respect just as they earned his.

We like to tell each other about our students and about some of the occurrences in our profession. We are both rather proud to have followed in the footsteps of Grandmother Moncus to become teachers and to share our love of that profession with a few people along the way.

Mark took the time to buy that cup of coffee while he was on his way from Amarillo to Albuquerque and then on home to Scottsdale. He most definitely gave his aging cousin a boost and provided more fodder for both of us to think about.

As usual, I am one of the most fortunate people I know because of the people I know.